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why does the atari 5200 get hated on?


atari2800man
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I love the Atari 5200!It was the first atari system I actually played on first.it is the system that introduced my love for retro game collecting!bought my first 5200 at a flea market in box for 40.00.it works perfectly.The controllers sucked though,in which I do believe is the reason the system failed but theres so many third party support for controllers for the atari 5200,including the wico command brand.I absolutley love those and they work perfectly.

 

The atari 5200 graphics are superior to the atari 2600,intellivision and competes very hard with the colecovision.The 5200 version of pacman,centipede,pengo etc are flawless.Heck I played meteorites and loved the game.

 

I mean is there really any reason for people to hate or dislike the 5200?

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I love the 5200 myself as I own a 2 Port model and a 4 port model system. I myself as well own the Trakball controller and the Atarimax SD cart. I personally believe a lot of the hate goes to the 4 port models with the proprietary switchbox which "catches on fire" from the spark :roll:. I may bevin the minority but I actually like that switchbox and I get a better reception on the screen than the 2 ports direct connection to the coax adapter. Of course you get the gripe from the controllers. If you just order a set of gold plated controllers from Best Electronics you are all set and it guaranteed to last you a long time!! And that is true. Just make sure you play itbevery now and then instead of letting it sit. It is good for these products to get some use as it will enhance the life for them. A lot of people hate on the 5200 because they have never played it and site that as another reason it "caused the crash". The games are outstanding with smooth graphics plus get the multicart and you will be enjoying countless hours of fun!! Play Tempest with the trakball controller, you will be mesmerized. Only thing I need is to get a custom made arcade stick for it.

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In a single word: Controllers. Beyond that, it's a pretty capable system for it's time period. The controllers through.... Did I mention the controllers?

 

 

 

 

I love the Atari 5200!It was the first atari system I actually played on first.it is the system that introduced my love for retro game collecting!bought my first 5200 at a flea market in box for 40.00.it works perfectly.The controllers sucked though,in which I do believe is the reason the system failed but theres so many third party support for controllers for the atari 5200,including the wico command brand.I absolutley love those and they work perfectly.

The atari 5200 graphics are superior to the atari 2600,intellivision and competes very hard with the colecovision.The 5200 version of pacman,centipede,pengo etc are flawless.Heck I played meteorites and loved the game.

I mean is there really any reason for people to hate or dislike the 5200?

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My next pay ck,im buying 6 gold contact controllers for the two atari 5200 4 port and 2 port.nothing wrong with the atari 5200 controllers.even back then they had other third party controllers that fixed that issue.I have no issue with it.Pacman on the atari 5200 definitley is awesome and kills the 2600s pacman version.

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Pacman on the atari 5200 definitley is awesome and kills the 2600s pacman version.

 

It's OK and it's easy to beat the 2600 version. And the 5200 version appears (at least to me) identical to the C64 release.

 

The best home version of Pac-Man I've played is Opcode's from Pac-Man Collection for the ColecoVision. My arcade patterns even work in his release. Even so, I wouldn't even call his version flawless because of the flicker and the sound effects aren't spot on with the arcade game. It also would've been nice to have a turbo option.

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Pac-Man flawless? Have you even played the arcade game?

 

I wouldn't use the word "flawless" but it is my favorite home port - looks, sounds and plays great. It's pretty darn close to the arcade, particularly for its day.

 

I actually don't mind the controllers for most games. They're more comfortable than the 7800's or Colecovision's. The reliability is poor, of course, and some games certainly control terribly but IMHO that's the exception. They could certainly be better.

 

Like many things, the 5200 gets hated on because people haven't tried it themselves, or if they did it was for 2 minutes.

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Considering the time is was released, most of the games are very well done, so after you work around the controller problem's, it a lot of fun to play. I also love the looks of the system. The console is huge but beautifully styled. I even think the cartridge design looks very cool compared to the competition.

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It's OK and it's easy to beat the 2600 version. And the 5200 version appears (at least to me) identical to the C64 release.

 

The best home version of Pac-Man I've played is Opcode's from Pac-Man Collection for the ColecoVision. My arcade patterns even work in his release. Even so, I wouldn't even call his version flawless because of the flicker and the sound effects aren't spot on with the arcade game. It also would've been nice to have a turbo option.

 

 

Pac-Man flawless? Have you even played the arcade game?

 

Once I got the AtariMax Ultimate SD cart I enjoy the system a lot more. Thanks to the people who are converting 8-bit games to the 5200.

 

Played the 2600 version (Game 6A) and the Atari XL version (nearly identical to the 5200 version) a few weeks ago - and I had much more fun with the 2600 version.

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Played the 2600 version (Game 6A) and the Atari XL version (nearly identical to the 5200 version) a few weeks ago - and I had much more fun with the 2600 version.

 

 

Yeah I like the 2600 pacman version,but the gameplay and graphics on the 5200 pacman version is far better and so much more fun.

 

After pre-ordering Pac-Man for the 2600 BITD and the traumatic experience of reading the manual about vitamin wafers and the huge disappointment playing the game for the first time I have never had a hatred for a game like I do for 2600 Pac-Man.

 

I just can't relate to anyone that actually enjoys playing 2600 Pac-Man. I just don't get it and never will.

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As if the analog stick wasn't problematic enough (most games aren't even designed for it, so wtf?), can't forget about the fact it has side firing buttons. How many people actually like side firing buttons? We simply tolerated them BITD is all. Sucks on the ColecoVision but was "okay" for the Intellivision due to the slower gameplay of most of the games and heck, half the time on Intellivision games, side buttons are mapped to the keypad, so there's another clue right there. But after all that - Atari had a go again with the 7800 CX24, which feels even worse! Wish someone at Atari would have come up with the idea to build a 2-button CX40 style joystick. Could have been designed with two smaller buttons like Apple had or the second button could have been positioned for access right where your index finger naturally rests. Need a little deeper base maybe to accommodate, but would be no goofier than side firing buttons on a vertical controller or employing an analog stick when 99% of the games are digital. :ponder:

 

A 'standard' two-button CX40 would have done wonders for games on the C64, Amiga and ST as well. Imagine a world in which 'UP' isn't always jump on those systems. :lol:

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As others have stated, it's mostly the controllers. They're not ideally suited to the requirements of most of the games of the era and are incredibly fragile. I don't think it was a major factor, but it certainly didn't help that the Atari 5200 console in its original version was supersized with an unusual power/RF combo. I think the second biggest factor after the controllers though was a simple one, and that was the competition from the ColecoVision. While Atari was rehashing a lot of the same titles that were already ported to umpteen other systems either officially or as clones, the ColecoVision was receiving mostly fresh content.

 

As for today, while I personally like it, it does struggle to justify its existence when an Atari 8-bit computer has the same basic software (and a heck of a lot more) and none of the same niggling hardware issues or limitations.

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I never met anyone bitd who really hated it. The Internet brought out all the belly achers who just couldn't stand the controller. Well guess what? All the controllers sucked, even the 2600 one which contacts would wear out, it squeaked, it cramps your hand. I loved the 5200's sticks with multiple buttons and pause. And I quickly adjusted to the analog stick, no outstanding control problems with me. They do wear down too quickly, I won't deny that.

 

But the games! The glorious, red-hot, fun games! Great sound too. I love the 5200! It was more affordable than the computer line too. Bitd.

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I never met anyone bitd who really hated it. The Internet brought out all the belly achers who just couldn't stand the controller. Well guess what? All the controllers sucked, even the 2600 one which contacts would wear out, it squeaked, it cramps your hand. I loved the 5200's sticks with multiple buttons and pause. And I quickly adjusted to the analog stick, no outstanding control problems with me. They do wear down too quickly, I won't deny that.

 

But the games! The glorious, red-hot, fun games! Great sound too. I love the 5200! It was more affordable than the computer line too. Bitd.

 

I knew one kid when I was a boy with the system and he didn't like the controllers either back then. I think they eventually stopped working for him. Regardless, it's not the Internet that brought this out. This was a real thing back in the day, which of course wasn't helped by publications like Electronic Games calling the controllers "dead fish floppo."

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yep the controller was the main complaint when the buttons fail you are done once the start button stops working what do you do?

 

most games were up down left right type controls and the joystick gave little feedback to its position (unlike the ones for 2600 where you could feel when you press a direction)

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yep the controller was the main complaint when the buttons fail you are done once the start button stops working what do you do?

 

most games were up down left right type controls and the joystick gave little feedback to its position (unlike the ones for 2600 where you could feel when you press a direction)

Yup. On another note, I'm surprised neither the Coin controllers joystick nor the 4-way movement restrictor(especially the latter, seeing as its just a relatively small piece of plastic with circuits in it.)? Maybe someday...

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Or maybe these belly aching guys,are just or were just toi cheap to go out and buy a new controller back then,or look for the third party advertised controllers that actually worked wonders for the 5200.as of now you can pay 70.00 per controller for a gold contact controller or get different brand wico controllers for just 100 to 150.00.this is cheap.Your telling me you couldnt suck it up and save 100.00 for a controller?

 

Controllers of today are expensive so whats an extra 50?shit.speaking of old school,look at the vectrex controllers prices now?

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Yes, it's quite possible to get fully functional and quite good Atari 5200 controllers. But as you yourself paid, you're shelling out things like $70, $100 or $150. Compare that to the amount it takes to get a good, sturdy functional controller for just about any other system from the 8-bit era (not necessarily counting the Intellivision and ColecoVision, but then again you probably can include even those).

 

The 5200 is a great machine, but really it's no thanks to its controllers. Analog support was a good idea. A smorgasbord of buttons including on-board start and pause buttons was a great idea. It's just those ideas were implemented in just about the worst possible away.

 

The 5200's unfortunate timing before the video game crash was also a factor in it getting struck down back in the day, though I wouldn't say that detracts from the system now.

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It's not asking a lot for the pack-in controllers of a system to be top notch. That's what many clone systems and modern day small scale attempts at new systems often get wrong. Atari of all companies should have known better than to release the 5200 controllers as-is.

Edited by Bill Loguidice
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That's why I bought a converted Neo geo controller last year, other than that and the conversions from 8 bit it's great, it's my Colecovision with av mod and yurkie controllers that just doesnt seem to get much love. Great system especially with homebrews, but I knew more who had a 5200 way back when so that is where I am comfortable.

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Yes the controllers sucked as a kid ans still do. But I have found 3rd party controllers as I have threaded here. The wico is no good. But with a masterplay clone and few adapters a NES nintendo controller and play station controller work great. Except some games like missile command and super breakout.

Edited by 0078265317
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